Bye week gives KSU chance to recuperate

Deanna Stevens

Redshirt freshman running back Eugene Jarvis rushed for a career-high 179 yards and three touchdowns against Toledo last weekend. It was his first game since coming out with an ankle injury against Akron. Jarvis was named Mid-American Conference East Divi

Credit: John Proppe

With a five-game win streak, an undefeated conference record and two players recognized as the week’s best, the Kent State football team needs one more thing — time to recuperate.

Kent State coach Doug Martin said the bye week is something they “desperately need.”

“We need to get some kids healthy,” Martin said.

Senior tight end Brian Bell, sophomore running back Tony Howard and sophomore center Josh Perry are three starters who missed the Toledo game due to injuries.

A concussion at Temple kept Bell out of the game against the Rockets. Howard has a shoulder injury. Perry has been sidelined with an MCL injury.

Although the Flashes were without a few key starters against Toledo, redshirt freshman Eugene Jarvis returned to have a career day against the Rockets’ defense.

He came back from an ankle injury sustained against Akron.

Jarvis rushed for a career-high 179 yards and three touchdowns, which earned him the Mid-American Conference East Division Offensive Player of The Week. He said he found out about the honor during a meeting with the coaches.

“I was excited all the hard work is paying off,” Jarvis said. “It was a good game. Our offensive line blocked well, our receivers blocked down field, and we capitalized.”

He added that his ankle is not 100 percent, but he’s confident with its status.

“(I’m) just trying to get healthy,” Jarvis said. “I’m getting it to where it needs to be. Things are going well.”

Jarvis was not the only Kent State player to be acknowledged for his play against the Rockets. Junior defensive back Jack Williams was named the MAC East Division Defensive Player of the Week.

Williams had two interceptions, including one that led to a 44-yard touchdown. He said he was pleased to be named player of the week, but has his sights set on another title.

“It really wasn’t too much,” Williams said. “I’d rather have a championship”

The Flashes have had four players earn Player of the Week honors so far this season. Williams and Jarvis said the ability for different players to step up makes the Flashes that much more dangerous.

“It makes us that much harder to prepare for, because everyone is capable of making plays,” Williams said.

He echoed Martin’s thoughts, saying the bye week could not have come at a better time.

“I don’t think we are going to lose any momentum,” Williams said. “If anything, I think its going to help us…It will help us get everyone back and healthy, so we can keep rolling.”

Senior defensive lineman Larry Brown is expected to return this week. Brown has been out for the past two weeks with an MCL injury.

Although one defensive lineman is returning to the Flashes, they are losing another.

“We lost Sam Frist Saturday to an ACL,” Martin said. “So he’ll be gone for the season. (He’s) one of our defensive lineman whose been playing quite a bit. So that hurts.”

Even though the injuries are starting to become more of an issue, Martin said more depth at positions and better nutrition has been vital to avoiding the type of problems they faced last season. He said last season some players would lose 20-25 pounds throughout the season, now that is not the case.

“I think that made a huge difference, because we don’t have guys losing weight now,” Martin said. “In fact, we’ re really maintaining well. We’ve been checking every week. And I think that’s one of the big reasons we haven’t had the injuries we’ve had here in the past. We’ re not getting weaker as a football team, we’ re actually maintaining strength or getting stronger.”

Contact football reporter Deanna Stevens at [email protected].